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RITCHIE: THE WOMEN'S GAME IS GROWING

7 March 2022

Striker Ella Hughes charges forward in Burton Albion Dom Gibbons
Striker Ella Hughes charges forward in Burton Albion's game at home to Boldmere St Michaels

FOLLOWING the success of the EFL's Women's Weekend, Burton Albion striker Ella Ritchie says the women's game will only continue to grow across the country.

Over the weekend, EFL clubs profiled and promoted female supporters and some of the initiatives that are being delivered to attract more women and girls to EFL matches.

With that providing a platform for women’s football, albeit with the Brewers having a free weekend, Ritchie says clear progress has been made in promoting the sport but believes it will get even better in time.

"I think undoubtedly the women’s game is growing in this country," said Ritchie. "You can see that in the top 3 tiers of the women’s game, I think it might be taking a little while to filter down through the rest of women’s football.”

"I think any team you look at now want to have a women’s counterpart team, and they want to offer them opportunities, and if some teams like Burton Albion continue to work with the women’s team, then the only way is up.

"I think as much exposure as we can generate is always a good thing. That’s half the battle - letting people know we’re there.

"If more people come down and watch we can get that backing and move forward as a club."

With that in mind, the Brewers return to league action on Sunday with an away trip to Doncaster Rovers Belles - currently second in the FAWNL Division One Midlands table, just three points shy of league leaders Boldmere St Michaels.

Topping the scoring charts for the Brewers so far this campaign, Ritchie has proven to be a lethal weapon in our attack with eight goals to her name.

Her goals could be vital in Albion's bid for Division One Midlands survival - with the Brewers currently sitting four points away from safety with eight games still to play.

Ritchie is confident, however, that the team have the determination to avoid relegation.

"I think we’ve proven to ourselves that if we do go behind in a game, we’ve got the character and belief to get ourselves back, and I think the recent result against Leafield epitomised that," said Ritchie, referring to the Brewers' late comeback win at home a few weeks ago.

"Winning is a habit, it only takes two or three wins to change that.

"I think too many times this season we’ve had to go behind to show that fight – so we’ve just been working on maintaining shape both in attack and defence, and how to create opportunities without leaving ourselves short."


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